Oil companies sign calamity response agreement

11The Philippine Institute of Petroleum (PIP), a non-stock, non-profit organization composed of some of the country’s major oil industry players, has joined forces with the Department of Energy (DOE), the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (NDRRMC), and the Metro Manila Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (MMDRRMC) in the latest milestone in public-private partnership related to disaster preparedness.

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This cooperation between the government and the companies was made official in a ceremonial signing of the Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) in the recent Industry Emergency Response (IERO) event held at Crowne Plaza, Ortigas. Present were key representatives from both sides, including (from left) Willie Sarmiento (Isla LPG), Wisarn Chawalitanon (PTT Philippines), Rodolfo Tablante (Petron), Undersectary Alexander Pama (NDRRMC), Undersecretary Zenaida Monsada (DOE), Peter Morris (Chevron Philippines), Atty. Emerson Carlos (MMDA), Edgar Chua (Shell Philippines), Chito Poblete (Total Philippines), and Sally Monteiro (PIP).

Held annually, the IERO’s theme for this year was “Fuelling Business Continuity in Critical Times”. Speakers from PAGASA, PHIVOLCS, NDRRMC, MMDA, DOE, and PIP discussed the Philippines’ downfall in the face of calamities, citing fuel as the make-or-break factor in disaster response.

In line with this, the MOA was formulated to ensure continuous supply of fuel to tragedy-hit areas, prioritizing stocks for the nearest functioning retail stations identified by the NDRRMC and MMDRRMC. It also names DOE as the mediator between the government and fuel industry, leading them in creating a communications protocol and Disaster Management Plan.

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“We are pleased to be part of this public-private agreement to ensure that much-needed fuels get to the people who need it the most after a disaster. We have learned many valuable lessons from past calamities. There is an urgent need for closer cooperation among all sectors for a speedy and effective response and recovery.  We must do this together,” PIP said.

“We hope that this agreement serves as a model of cooperation as we pursue similar arrangements nationwide,” PIP added.

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